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Making Friends Is Our Business: 100 Years of Anheuser-Busch

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Making Friends Is Our Business: 100 Years of Anheuser-Busch
By Roland Krebs and Percy J. Orthwein

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Publisher: Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 1953.
Hard Cover, 451 pages, 6.5 x 9.5.
Item #1122

This 451-page book was produced by Anheuser-Busch in commemoration of its 100th anniversary in 1953, and represents the company's only effort to date to publish its in-depth history. The book is a true piece of history. Co-author Percy J. Orthwein was a descendant of founder Adolphus Busch. The volume is a rich and comprehensive, yet colorful, study of the company, the story of Budweiser, the Busch family, and its presence in St. Louis. Heavily illustrated with images from the A-B archives. Bound in a quality weave-textured cover with gold stamp lettering. A classic brewery history book.

This copy includes a gift inscription from an apparent brewery executive or associate:

• Introduction
• Failure — Then a Midget Becomes a Giant
• The World's Most Famous Beer is Born
• A Son's Tinkering Becomes a Triumph
• Opulence, Elegance and Salesmanship
• At Home with Lilly and Adolphus
• Finis for the First Citizen of St. Louis
• Problems Come in a Tremendous Tide
• A New Skipper Salvages the Sinking Ship
• The Blue-Nose Puts Nation to Shame
• Mr. Busch Reports to Calvin Coolidge
• A Nation Begins to Get Over its Hangover
• August A. Busch Has Said a Mouthful
• Something More Than Beer is Back
• The Road Back is Joyous — But Ominous
• Industrialist and Country Squire, Too
• August A. Makes Every Hour Every Day Count
• Once Again The Family Has To Rally
• In the Family Tradition, Adolphus Busch III
• Gus and Grandfather See Eye-To-Eye
• What is This Thing Called Budweiser?
• Micehlob, A Fine Beer by Anheuser-Busch
• Aiding Medical Science and Nutrition
• Syrups and Corn Products Prove Profitable
• What a Big Family it Has Become!
• A Toy-Town Railreoad Becomes Big Business
• How the Diesel Engine Came to America
• Advertise, Advertise and Advertise
• More Production, More Advertising
• The Wagons Keep Things Rolling Along
• Anheuser-Busch Builds for Keeps
• The Financial Structure is Strong, Too
• The Business of Refrigeration is Big
• This is the Story of Malt-Nutrine
• Adolphus Remembers Texas with a Hotel
• A Private Garden Devoted to Charity

Excerpt from Chapter One:

Neither prosperity nor promise attended the origin of what was to become Anheuser-Busch, Inc. In 1852, a St. Louisan named Schneider--first name unknown--founded a small brewery on a site a few blocks from the Mississippi River and near the location of the present plant on the South Side of St. Louis. The little brewery had a productive capacity of 3,000 barrels a year.

One of the reasons for choosing the location was that there were caves close by. Such underground caverns were highly desirable for brewing operations in those days of no artificial refrigeration. Their temperature was cool and constant and provided good if not optimum conditions for ageing beer. Moreover, Schneider was able to cut blocks of ice from the frozen Mississippi River in winter and store the cakes in sawdust for use in the summer.

St. Louis, where the Ozark Mountains' northern slope begins, had several large caves. The largest and best known exists today under one of the city's busiest intersections, Jefferson Avenue and Washington Boulevard. At the turn of the century, the spot for many years had included a summer garden known as Uhrig's Cave. To this garden came traveling theatrical companies to entertain St. Louisans who enjoyed Uhrig's fine food and beer.

Mr. Schneider's cave, on the other hand, served a purely utilitarian purpose. It was more than ample for his dwindling trade, but destined to prove inadequate for the booming business of his successors in later years. In fact, man-made caves that served as annexes were dug out of the earth and chipped out of the rock in the later years. When mechanically created refrigeration came into its own, the caverns were abandoned and forgotten. Their presence became known again in the 1930's when deep excavations were made for new stock houses for Budweiser beer.

In one of the rediscovered caves was an ancient package crate that contained advertising novelties and a miscellany of records. The box apparently had been placed in the cave for temporary storage and then forgotten.

Three years after Schneider built his brewery, he found both his cave and his cash box empty. There is no record to indicate whether it was because he was a poor brewer, a poor salesman, or both. His business was taken over by a competitor, Urban & Hammer. The new owners renamed the property The Bavarian Brewery and launched an expansion program, largely with a $90,000 loan obtained from Eberhard Anheuser, a prosperous soap manufacturer of St. Louis.

The new operators managed to get production up to 8,000 barrels of beer a year, but The Bavarian Brewery failed in 1857, with Anheuser its major creditor. He chose to buy up the interests of the minority creditors and thus became sole owner of the brewery.

Eberhard knew that the rehabilitated and expanded property was a valuable one and that, rightly operated and exploited, could be made very profitable. He undertook the job of management himself while continuing to operate his soap business. After eight years of this, he came to two conclusions. The first was that trying to manage the two enterprises was too much for one man and that he would do badly to neglect the one which originally had brought him success and wealth. The second conclusion was that The Bavarian Brewery needed new blood and a younger man to give it all of his time.

Eberhard wanted a man who knew beer, who loved beer, and who could brew and sell beer.

He chose Adolphus Busch for three very sound reasons: Adolphus understood beer. Adolphus was one of Eberhard's warmest friends. Adolphus was the husband of Eberhard's daughter, Lilly.

Eberhard Anheuser knew nothing but good of his new general manager and son-in-law. He knew that Adolphus had been born on July 19, 1839, at Mainz, Germany, the youngest of the twenty-one children of Ulrich Busch, a prosperous wine merchant and dealer in brewing supplies. He knew that Adolphus had migrated to America in 1857 in the wake of those early German born St. Louisans, who had sought freedom in their native land in the revolution of 1848 and then, failing, fled across the Rhine and then the Atlantic to the freedom that the United States gave for the asking.

Adolphus knew that one thing that America did not give for the asking was success. For that you worked. So, he worked at first as a clerk on a Mississippi River steamboat and got to know the people who inhabited the Midwest that was to help him become a world figure. Commerce was very much in the air in those steamboating days and it did not take the young immigrant long to decide that increasing commissions were more profitable than a steady salary. He became a salesman and began to get acquainted with prosperity through the medium of brewing supplies, just as his father had done.

When the War between the States began, there was strong sentiment for the South in St. Louis, but a majority favored the North. Adolphus decided that the Union which had offered him freedom and a future was worth defending. He enlisted in the United States Army, served in the Missouri campaigns and was honorably discharged as a corporal. Thereupon, he returned to his brewers' supplies business. His employer was the Charles Ehlermann Hops and Malt Company.

It was during the War between the States that brewers favoring the Union volunteered to pay a tax of $1.00 a barrel to help defray military costs. Anheuser was one of these volunteer taxpayers. The tax remained after cessation of hostilities. It was the beginning of federal excise taxes.

Beer-loving St. Louis with its breweries was a good market and Adolphus was a good salesman.

The changes that Eberhard wanted he got fast when Adolphus was put in charge. Just exactly what startling innovations the new general manager created is unknown, but one startling fact is history. In five years, Adolphus increased the brewery's capacity from 8,000 barrels of beer that was difficult to sell to 18,000 barrels of beer that was snapped up wherever offered. By 1873, production had jumped to 25,000 barrels and the need for further expansion of facilities became a certainty.

In that year of 1873, Adolphus became a full-fledged partner and the name of the concern was changed from The Bavarian Brewery to The E. Anheuser Co.'s Brewing Association. Six years later the name was changed again, this time to The Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association.

In the year of 1875, the business had been incorporated for the first time. Its capacity was 34,797 barrels of beer. The total investment was valued at $240,000. On this investment, 480 shares of stock were issued, each worth $500.00. The stockholders were Eberhard and his son-in-law and daughter, Adolphus and Lilly. This was the corporate structure that was to remain unchanged for fifty years.

From that time on, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, as it came to be known first to St. Louis and then to all America, touched off a veritable chain reaction of accomplishment. Success followed success and innovations and improvements assumed fabulous proportions.

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